Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday reacted to the death of longtime conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, saying that he was “irreplaceable.” The decades-long staple of talk radio passed away at the age of 70 on Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer.
Hopping onto Fox News over the phone to offer some words, the former president opened by talking about the controversial move to give Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the 2020 State of the Union, which Trump said was “a great honor.”
“Half the room went crazy” Trump said about when he gave Limbaugh the medal “and the other half of the room, they knew he should get it.”
“But it was special and he was special,” he added.
Asked by Fox News host Bill Hemmer about when he last spoke to Limbaugh, the former commander-in-chief said “three or four days ago.”
“His fight [against cancer] was very, very courageous and he was very, very sick and—from diagnosis on—it was just something that was just not going to be beaten, but you wouldn’t know it,” Trump said.
“He is married to an incredible woman, Kathryn, who really—every time I spoke to him, he would tell me how great she was—she took such great care.”
“He was very brave,” Trump continued. “I mean, he in theory could’ve been gone four months ago. Really, he was fighting till the very end. He was a fighter, he was a great gentleman.”
Hemmer then asked how Trump viewed the way Limbaugh chose to “carry on” his messages and chose to agree or disagree with his policies as president.
Not directly answering the question, Trump referenced Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was on the program before he came on, saying that “Sean would say ‘There is nobody like Rush.'”
The former president also called the late radio host “irreplaceable” and “unique”.
Trump went on to talk about Limbaugh’s show and his hosting style.
“He had an audience that was massive,” Trump said. “And, you know, he could do something […] and he would get up in the show and would just talk—he wouldn’t take phone calls where, you know, people would call in every two minutes and that’s sort of easy to do—he would just talk, for two hours and three hours, just talk. And that’s not an easy thing to do.
“I once asked him and said ‘Do you study for the show?’ and he said ‘Actually, I study very hard,'” Trump continued, joking that the revelation “a little bit surprised me.”
“But he was a fantastic man, fantastic talent, and people—whether they loved him or not—they respected him, they really did,” he said at the closing of his segment.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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